About the President

After an extensive national search for over seven months, Dr. Darrell Franklin Parker was introduced on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, as the next President of Limestone University.

Dr. Parker officially took office as Limestone’s 22nd President on January 3, 2018.

Dr. Darrell Parker on front campus

Dr. Walt Griffin, who has led Limestone University since 1992, announced in April of 2017 that he would be retiring at the end of the 2017 fall semester that concluded with graduation ceremonies December 14-16.

Dr. Parker has been serving since 2012 as the Dean and Professor of Economics for The University of Business at Western Carolina University.

Western Carolina University is a Regional Public Comprehensive University in the University of North Carolina System. Located in Cullowhee, North Carolina, Western Carolina enrolls approximately 11,000 students.

A native of Buncombe County, Dr. Parker grew up in Weaverville, North Carolina and graduated from North Buncombe High School. He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics at the University of North Carolina Asheville before going on to earn his master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from Purdue University.

Dr. Parker is no stranger to the Upstate area of South Carolina. He also served for six years as the Dean and Professor of Economics for the Johnson College of Business and Economics at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg.

From 2001 until 2006, Dr. Parker was at Georgia Southern University where he served numerous roles, including Professor of Economics, Director of the Center for Economic Education, Acting Associate Dean, and Director of the School of Economic Development in The University of Business Administration.

He previously was a professor of economics at Winthrop University, where he was named Winthrop University Distinguished Professor in 1999; awarded the First Union Excellence in Teaching prize in 1991; and received the 1988-89 Phi Kappa Phi award for Excellence in Teaching.

From 1990 until 2001, he served as director of the Winthrop Economic Development Center, which he founded.

Dr. Parker has also enjoyed professional roles at Clemson University and at Purdue University.

The search for Limestone University’s next President started in April of 2017 with the formation of a 13-member Presidential Search Committee, led by Board of Trustees Vice-Chairman David Riggins.

The committee conducted a comprehensive national search for the successor to Dr. Griffin. The list of candidates was narrowed down to three finalists who recently visited with Limestone constituents on campus. 

The full Board of Trustees voted on the next President during a called meeting on Tuesday, December 5, 2017.